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A front shot of Indian style pasta made with a red masala tomato sauce, green bell peppers and cashew cream
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5 from 20 votes

Masala Pasta, Indian street style

Masala pasta is an irresistibly delicious Indian street-style food. If you love pasta, and if you love Indian food, you need to try this recipe. A bright red tomato sauce seasoned with cumin and garlic and mellowed with cashew cream makes every bite one to remember. A vegan, soy-free recipe, can be nut-free.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course/Pasta
Cuisine: Indo-Italian Fusion
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 377kcal


  • 16 oz penne rigate (you can also use the regular penne pasta without any ridges)
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 4 medium tomatoes (diced, or use 2 cups of tomato puree)
  • 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste (tomato ketchup works nicely too)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional, will add more color)
  • 4 dry red chili peppers (like Kashmiri red chilis. If using a guajillo pepper, use just one or two. You can also use a teaspoon or two of red pepper flakes. If using whole peppers, roast them lightly on a griddle before using.)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed into paste or minced)
  • 2 green bell peppers (cut in a ½-inch dice. You can also add other veggies like green peas or leeks)
  • 2 packets Maggi Masala Magic seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (or a dash of garam masala would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

For serving (optional)


  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain before using.
  • Place the cashews in a blender with ½ cup water and blend into a very smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Place the tomatoes or puree in a blender along with the tomato paste, paprika, peppers and roasted cumin. Blend into a coarse paste.
  • Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet. Working on a medium-high flame, add the garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the blended tomato masala and saute fora couple of minutes. Add the pasta, diced green bell peppers, oregano, vegetable oil, and the powdered spices--the masala magic and the curry powder. Season with salt and, if you like even more spice, some ground black pepper.
  • Stir-fry the cooked pasta, moving it constantly, to ensure the sauce cooks evenly and the pasta doesn't stick to the pan. You can do this for about five to 10 minutes.
  • Finish off by adding half the cashew cream, and mixing the pasta one last time. Serve with more cashew cream drizzled on top. You can also garnish with scallions or with vegan cheese, like cashew parmesan (I'll link that recipe in the notes)


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 858IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg